In just their 3rd season of the co-op between Durand and Pecatonica, the Du-Pec Rivermen found some more success this year as they improved upon their 3-6 record from a year ago, and turned that into a 6-3 record and a playoff bid. With that, they were also the recipient of the 7 seed in the Class 3A playoffs in the North bracket, giving the Rivermen a home playoff game. It was the first time since 2000 that Durand has hosted a playoff game, and Pecatonica's last home playoff game came in 2005.
With a 1 pm kickoff slated, the Falcons were late to show up to the game, as reports say they showed up to the wrong school. The game was started an hour late, and when it was started the first quarter flew by as both teams kept each other off the scoreboard.
At the start of the 2nd quarter the Rivermen would strike first, as Hunter Hoffman connected with Gabe Howard on a 25 yard touchdown pass. The two point try was good, as Du-Pec took an 8-0 lead with just over 9 minutes left in the first half.
On their next possession, the Rivermen went back to work again, and this time Hoffman connected with Grant McCallips for a 7 yard touchdown pass. The Tyler Kormoczy kick was good as Du-Pec held a 15-0 lead with 5:46 left in the half.
On Harlan's next possession they found themselves buried deep in their own territory. With quarterback Demorian Blair dropping back to pass, Bailey Leif came through and sacked him in the endzone for the safety. This gave Du-Pec a 17-0 lead with 3:35 left in the half that they would take to the half with them. Du-Pec had driven down to the 27 yard line of the Falcons, and as time was expiring in the 1st half they attempted a Tyler Kormoczy field goal from 44 yards that was no good.
In the 3rd quarter the Rivermen would extend their lead to 29-0 with just over 5 minutes left as Hunter Hoffman and Justin Wishard would each get touchdowns on the ground. Just over a minute later the Falcons would get on the board when Demorian Blair connected with Jordan Collins for a 26 yard touchdown pass. The two point try failed as Du-Pec had the lead 29-6.
The Rivermen would extend their lead to 44-6 in the 4th quarter, as Hoffman connected with Eli Smith for a 1 yard touchdown pass and Mason Manning dove in from a yard out to score. Harlan would score one more time as Blair connected with Collins again for a 63 yard touchdown pass to bring the final score to 44-12 in favor of Du-Pec.
The Rivermen were led by Hunter Hoffman who was 8-16 passing for 71 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he added a rushing touchdown. Justin Wishard led the ground attack with 112 yards rushing, and Tre Stifter and Gabe Howard led the receiving corp with 30 yards and 33 yards receiving, respectively.
Harlan was led by Demorian Blair who was 4-11 passing for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jordan Collins caught 3 of those passes for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. Collins also led the rushing attack with 23 yards on 10 attempts.
Du-Pec will move onto the 2nd round, where they will travel to Byron (9-1) to face the reigning state runner-up from a year ago. This game is scheduled for a 1:00 pm kickoff.